2009 PLANAZCA John Duncan
5-track LP released by Alga Marghen.
Listen to an excerpt

Duncan’s text from the inner sleeve notes:

On Christmas Eve, 2004, an email came in from a writer who introduced himself as Anton Düder, an archaeologist working at the site of the Nazca Lines in Peru. Düder claimed to have discovered, and over time recorded, a variety of sounds actually generated by the enigmatic lines themselves. Familiar with Infrasound-Tidal, composed from source recordings taken from tides, seismic activity and barometric data from the Australian coastline, he suggested that I might be in a unique position to compose a piece with these sources as well; that if I was interested he would gladly ask his nephew in Bremen, Germany, whom he said he was visiting over the holidays, to forward a CDr copy of his recordings to me for consideration. I agreed to listen to them and sent my mailing address, suspecting this was some sort of joke and not expecting to hear any more from him.

Several days later a package, postmarked Bremen with no return address except ‘Anton Düder’, arrived with a CDr that contained some of the strangest sounds I had ever heard. That same day I sent an email to Düder to say that I had received the CDr and would begin working with it, asking him to send details on where and how the recordings had been made. All of the sources were modified in my studio, some radically, to bring out an unsettling, haunting quality.

Then my personal life went into turmoil and everything I owned was packed off to another city. Files and equipment were all still in boxes when Düder wrote to ask about my progress. I explained that as soon as my studio was settled again, it would be possible to focus on this project.

In mid-June, the 5-track piece was ready. I emailed Düder to ask for a mailing address, in order to send him a CDr of the work and get his opinion. No response. Several messages were sent, none of them ever answered or returned.

Which strengthens the possibility that Anton Düder may not have actually existed, that the entire episode is an elaborate hoax. Personally, I believe it doesn’t matter. I’m much less interested in the story than I am in the sound of the results; the completed work stands on its own merits whatever the sources might actually be.

A hard disk crash effectively destroyed all of the email correspondence between us. What remains are the notes he sent that ostensibly describe the details of sites and times for the source recordings, reproduced here verbatim. Whether or not the story behind this project is relevant to the work itself is left here for you to decide.

“As always with Duncan, he delivers music of great substance.”
Keith Moliné, The Wire

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